What I learned by buying a 600 sq ft condo with one closet during quarantine.

Two weeks into COVID quarantine, I closed on a 600 sq ft condo with one (not walk-in) closet. NO, this isn't the first line in a great joke, and YES, I learned A LOT during this time. There were plenty of cons, but many pros as well. One being that I have become a purg-aholic, but more importantly, I have become a master of disguise. I am by no means Marie Kondo, and this is not a guide to organizing and finding joy. It is a short guide for real people with busy lives on how to hide your stuff and make your home LOOK like Marie Kondo just came in and whipped it into shape!

I am the type of person who hates clutter and OBVIOUSLY loves a serene, beautiful space, but who can also make a mess in record time! Seriously. Ask anyone who has shared a hotel room with me or just open one drawer or cupboard in my home. This personality juxtaposition has caused me to get creative, and I am now in a position to pass on my knowledge to you, so that we can all mask our messes one small space solution at a time!

Below are some of my favorite interior pieces and ways to make your small space work for you! Check out the link at the end to download our FREE Small Space Guide that contains some of our favorite pieces to help conceal your messes!

1. Duel Purpose Furniture


Aravis Coffee Table by Wade Logan from Wayfair $129.99

Dual-purpose furniture is the epitome of the saying 'two birds with one stone,' or how about 'more bang for your buck'! The idea here is simple, but most people do not look for furniture with this in mind. This versatility optimizes space utilization and promotes a clutter-free living area. Additionally, dual-purpose furniture often has a transformative and space-saving design, allowing you to adapt your living space to different activities. It can also be cost-effective, as you can purchase one piece of furniture that serves multiple functions. Again, 'more bang for your buck'! Below are some of my favorite (some I personally own) and useful dual-purpose pieces of furniture to consider:

  1. Murphy Bed/Entertainment Center
  2. Murphy Bed/Desk
  3. Wardrobe/Mirror
  4. Sofa Bed
  5. Convertible Coffee Table
    2. Storage Furniture

    Storage Bench from Wayfair by Mercer41 - $244.99

    Storage furniture is one of my favorite ways to declutter and save space because it's the easiest way to conceal a mess! Again, it's a very simple idea, but the amount of storage furniture available right now is more than I ever knew until I needed it. (You don't know what you don't know, right?) Clearly, the powers that be have realized there is a huge need for this and have gotten very creative with what can actually be considered storage furniture. Below is a list of my top types that easily hide clutter without sacrificing the purpose or aesthetics of the piece.

    1. Storage coffee tables
    2. Storage ottomans
    3. Storage benches
    4. Storage end/accent tables

      3. Small Footprint Furniture

      Natural Rattan Shoe Cabinet from Amazon - $100.39

      Furniture with a small footprint is also something that has SAVED MY LIFE! There is plenty out there, and the equation is simple: the less floor space you take up, the better. My favorites are shoe cabinets designed to hold shoes vertically. Other items to look for would include a wall desk that can fold up or really anything that folds!

      4. Unused Space

      We all have secret unused space in our homes. You just need to identify it and utilize it! Make that unused space work for you! Some of the most common spaces would be under your bed or couch, but look up too! I have a ton of space on top of things such as cabinets, taller furniture, etc. Once we identify our space, are we just going to throw stuff in a cardboard box and toss it on top of our cabinet? NO! We are going to find a good-looking receptacle of some sort and put it to work too! My favorites are baskets with a cool design that goes with my home or nice-looking boxes that are also space-saving and functional.

      5. Go Up, Not Out

      Piggybacking on the unused space discussion above, the last key to utilizing your space is to go up, not out! I don't mean stack your clutter into a replica of the Leaning Tower of Pisa, but to add storage options higher instead of buying a piece of furniture that sits on the floor and takes up the space in your home. Look above your closet; there is usually great space there for cabinets or shelves. Look above the washer and dryer; is there unused space there? You can slap a cute shelf on the wall and store your laundry supplies (in an attractive bin) there! Most homes have a few great places you can utilize, but remember to just keep looking up!

      DOWLOAD OUR FULL SMALL SPACE GUIDE for all our favorite furniture and storage to help you utilize your space!

      Featuring items from: All Modern, Wayfair, Target, Anthropologie, Crate & Barrel, Ikea, Burke Decor, World Market, and Amazon.

      *Prices and availability on all products are subject to change

      September 21, 2023 — Lily Zenner